My dad always used to razz us about playing possum! I can tell you that this possum was NOT playing possum! My great friend (retired ornithology professor from Purdue and co-author of Birds of Indiana) frequently get together and go birding. While out and about it never fails that we ALWAYS get side tracked by some other wonder of nature and with us it could be anything. One day found us wading in a marsh up to our chests, one night we got side tracked on glow worms...there is no limit to what we get into! On this chilly morning we found ourselves stopped in the road by a crossing possum...taking its sweet ole time...lollygagging around! What else did it have to do! But by witnessing this lollygagging I can now understand why I see so many looking like they are playing possum but are really not ON THE ROAD! Anyway, Russ, who is 85 going on 16, jumps out of the truck and grabs this possum by the tail! This possum was none to happy about it either. It hissed and squirmed and mostly just hissed! By the looks of it, the end of his tail had been frost bitten at one time or another. A small part of it was missing. There was a tree snag nearby and Russ put the possum up on the tree, got his camera from the truck, and the possum preceded to pose and smile for us...as you can see on this picture. After this little modeling stint was done, Russ put him back on the ground, he gave us one last hiss and started on his merry way. No running...just lollygagging in the direction it was headed to in the beginning! He was not really concerned about us, just ticked off at us! And this all just in a day of birding!
3 days ago